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Suws Of The Carolinas
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When our students prepare for graduation, they spend a day reflecting upon their experiences before reuniting with their families. One exercise graduation instructors use is a "letting go" ceremony for this occasion. Evaluating the habits and thought patterns that may no longer serve our current goals is the first step. We ask our students to name the things they are willing to leave behind, then write them on a piece of paper. When students are ready, they can burn the piece of paper ceremonially in the community fire. What are you ready to leave behind to make room for more happiness today?
http://upliftconnect.com/15-things-to-be-happy/

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Navigating with a map and compass is a critical skill for our staff and students. When implementing a route plan using map and compass, one must set the compass declination to discern the difference between Magnetic North and True North. Over time, the few degrees in declination may result in a vastly different destination if we do not account for the tendency for our needle to point slightly askew from True North.Our internal compasses must also undergo similar rigors. Setting daily intentions, and tackling weekly SMART goals keep us motivated to stay on the right path, even if we may be magnetically drawn in other directions. 
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While walking along a trail in the Pisgah, one of our staff captured this image. The concentric circles reminded us of a favorite guided meditation used in groups. The basic premise is one of the simple laws of physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this meditation, participants are asked to imagine themselves sitting by a placid pond, the wind is still and the pond's surface is smooth. The participants are asked to pick up a small pebble placed beside them and throw it to the center of the pond. As they watch the ripples go out to the edge of the pond, they are also to notice the ripples return to the exact spot where their pebble broke the surface of the water. In this meditation, the ripples signify our thoughts, and our thoughts create a ripple effect in our words and actions, which ultimately come back to us in unseen ways. #mindfulness
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Life in the wilderness is simple. We invoke the powers of creativity, and critical thinking to address challenges because we are unable to access Google at any given moment. Turns out, this may be the best thing for inquisitive young minds.
http://raisedgood.com/extraordinary-things-happen-when-we-simplify-childhood/

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“It is a scientific fact,” he wrote, “that the occasional contemplation of natural scenes of an impressive character ... is favorable to the health and vigor of men and especially to the health and vigor of their intellect.” Frederick Law Olmstead
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/01/call-to-wild/

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The numbers are in! Last year SUWS awarded families over one million dollars in tuition grants through internal discounts and matching non profit organizations' scholarship funding. Helping make wilderness therapy affordable is a key component of our mission. If you want to help families in need, you can do your part by donating to Sky's The Limit Fund: http://www.skysthelimitfund.org/

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Seasons therapist, Liz Lucarelli presented a break out session at the NATSAP Conference in Tucson Arizona yesterday. Her presentation, Wildcat Onesies, is highlighting a creative and play based approach for latency aged boys and girls. She will co present with Katie Ford from Lakehouse Academy, and Derry O’Kane from Trails Carolina. Take a look at these outfits!
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Today we said goodbye to our first mentor student of 2017. He spent a week with his old group, while providing peer driven guidance to our boys in Phoenix Outdoor. He braved the wind and rain to give back to his community, yet exited the program today beaming. He left a testimonial about his experience:
"When I was 17, I was sent to SUWS of the Carolinas. I was reluctant at first, and did not want to change my unhealthy habits. After spending nine weeks hiking, discussing, and self reflecting, I graduated from SUWS a completely different person. SUWS gave me a chance to turn my life around. It allowed me to be introspective and take a long hard look at myself. SUWS gave me the stepping stones to better my life. I returned to SUWS 11 months after graduating to become a mentor. My transition has now come full circle, and I am forever grateful for the lessons and grit I learned at SUWS."

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